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When Men Get Told How to Have Career, Family and Great Skin

Photograph by Twenty20

The messages that barrage moms—and women, generally—often border on the absurd. Most of us have been on the receiving end of some inconsistent advice about what it means to be a good mom: Lean in. No, lean out! Sure, we can just ignore the messages and move on. But the expectations we set for ourselves is influenced by the social conditioning we experience through the media, entertainment and our communities.

I'm not sure how the ideal mom in our collective imagination was formed, but she's a salad-eating, yogurt-loving, top-level exec who also makes all her kids' meals from scratch, is ever-patient, has a mega-following on her Pinterest craft boards, runs marathons and manages to stay super sexy for her spouse—of course.

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We're supposed to want to have it all. But I've found that having it all feels like spinning several plates at the same time in some circus act in which no one applauds but everyone hands you more plates.

Enter @manwhohasitall, my new favorite Twitter personality described as “Top tips for men juggling a successful career and fatherhood.” The genius behind this simple account is that it upends the messages directed at women and moms when suddenly applied to men and dads.

Here are a few favorites to read as we ponder whether men can really have it all:

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Beyond the laughs, the truth is these kinds of messages are never—never—directed at dads. These all sound ridiculous, right? But apply them to moms and they're supposed to make sense somehow.

I'm putting my yogurt cup down for good because I've had enough. Stop asking if moms can have it all. It's as real a prospect as it is likely that you'll wake up tomorrow at 6 a.m. to enjoy a breakfast of six almonds and homemade kombucha.

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